redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports – Your Universe Online
Coffee consumption could help limit the progression of prostate cancer, as well as helping prevent the disease from recurring, experts from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC) claim in a new study.
Writing in the journal Cancer Causes & Control, the researchers reported that men who consumed at least four cups of the caffeinated beverage each day experienced a 59 percent decrease in their risk of prostate cancer recurrence and/or progression in comparison with those who only drank no more than one cup each week.
Corresponding author Janet L. Stanford, co-director of the Program in Prostate Cancer Research in the Fred Hutch Public Health Sciences Division, and her colleagues conducted their research in order to determine whether or not the bioactive compounds found in coffee and tea could help prevent recurrence of this typically slow-growing cancer of the walnut-sized gland.
Stanford’s team did not find a link between coffee consumption and a reduction in the risk of mortality from prostate cancer, though they said that the study included too few men who succumbed to the ailment in order to directly address that issue. Furthermore, the authors were unable to reach any conclusion regarding the potential impact of drinking them on prostate cancer-related death.
“To our knowledge, our study is the first to investigate the potential association between tea consumption and prostate cancer outcomes,” they wrote. “It is important to note, however, that few patients in our cohort were regular tea drinkers and the highest category of tea consumption was one or more cups per day. The association should be investigated in future studies that have access to larger populations with higher levels of tea consumption.”
Over 1,000 prostate cancer survivors between the ages of 35 and 74, all of whom were diagnosed between 2002 and 2005 and were residents of King County in Washington, participated in the study. They answered a series of questions regarding their food and beverage consumption two years prior to their diagnoses, and were also interviewed regarding their demographics, lifestyle information, family history of cancer, medication use and screening history for prostate cancer. The researchers followed up with each for a period of over five years after diagnosis.
Six-hundred thirty of the participants answered questions regarding coffee intake, fit the follow-up criteria and took part in the final analysis, the authors said. Of those men, 61 percent said that they drank at least one cup of coffee each day, while 12 percent said that they consumed four or more on a daily basis.
Stanford’s team reports that their findings are consistent with the Harvard’s Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS), which found that men who drank at least six cups of coffee each day had a 60 percent decreased risk of metastatic/lethal prostate cancer versus non-drinkers.
“The researchers emphasize that coffee or specific coffee components cannot be recommended for secondary prevention of prostate cancer before the preventive effect has been demonstrated in a randomized clinical trial,” FHCRC explained. “Further, there’s ongoing debate about which components in coffee are anti-carcinogenic, and additional large, prospective studies are needed to confirm whether coffee intake is beneficial for secondary prevention.”
Earlier this month, experts from National University of Singapore and Duke University published research suggesting that drinking coffee could reduce fatty liver in people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition found in 70 percent of people diagnosed with diabetes that can currently only be treated through diet and exercise.
Furthermore, the caffeinated beverage has also recently been linked to a 21 percent increase in overall mortality risk for those drinking over 28 cups a week, and a more than 50 percent increase in both men and women younger than 55 years of age. According to the latest National Coffee Drinking Study from the National Coffee Association, over 60 percent of US adults drink coffee every day, consuming slightly more than three cups a day on average.